Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine diabetes-related behavioral and psychosocial outcomes as well as patient satisfaction with the Telemedicine for Reach, Education, Access, and Treatment (TREAT) model.
Methods: TREAT employs telemedicine services provided by an endocrinologist at an urban area in partnership with a diabetes educator in a rural area, working together with patients and primary care providers (PCPs). Thirty-five patients with type 2 diabetes were referred by PCPs and received glycemic management and education in the TREAT model. A diabetes educator operated the videoconferencing equipment, remained with the patient to receive and review plan communicated by the endocrinologist during the visit, coordinated services, administered surveys, and provided self-management education and support. Empowerment, self-care, diabetes distress, adherence to monitoring, and patient satisfaction were assessed by survey at baseline and follow-up.
Results: There was significant improvement in empowerment, self-care (adherence to diet and monitoring), and reduction in diabetes distress. Patients reported high levels of satisfaction.
Conclusions: In rural areas, the TREAT model delivers improvements in behavioral and psychosocial outcomes and high patient satisfaction. The TREAT model may be a viable option for rural communities that suffer from a shortage of team-based diabetes specialist and self-management support services.
© 2014 The Author(s).